The Advantages of Having a Multilingual Website
35% of all internet users have English as their first or second language. Therefore, they search and browse content that is in English. However, you will be catering to just over a third of all internet users if your website is only in English. With the usage of the internet growing widespread all over the globe, it makes sense to have a multilingual website that targets the major languages spoken by internet users.
According to an unofficial survey, Chinese ranks second behind English with 14% of users. Given the billion-plus population of China, this comes as no surprise. The other leading languages are Spanish, Japanese, German and French. By having a multilingual website that features content in all of these languages, you will be able to attract around 80% of the internet’s users. The more people you attract, the more leads and customers you will be able to get.
This is just one of the advantages of having a multilingual website. Here are some other benefits you can enjoy.
For one, visitors to your website will be impressed by the effort you put into make the website bilingual and ultimately catering to their needs. As a result, they are more likely to purchase from you than from a website that has one language and for which they require their browser to translate into their language. This not only improves your chances of conversion, but also increases overall customer satisfaction. Simply making the customers feel that you care about them makes a huge difference.
Having a multilingual website will give you a definite edge over your competitors. Even today, there are not many websites that feature content in more than one language. It is quite possible that your direct competitors are late to the party. You can make the most of their hesitance and get ahead of the pack. The multiple languages of your website will make it stand out in a crowd. People are more likely to remember it than any other website in that niche.
You broaden your horizons by making your website multilingual. Firstly, your customers will see that you are taking an international approach to business. This is something that should make a good impression on the visitors to your website. Plus, it is great for the image of your business. You will be viewed as a serious player even if the market is crowded.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
People swear by Google in the Western world. Yahoo and Bing may be distant competitors, but they are very much in the game. However, countries like France and China don’t use these search engines. They have their own local search engines catered to the needs of the internet users there. By making your website multilingual, you can optimize your website to attract those search engines as well. If you don’t, you could miss out on what could prove to be a highly profitable market for you to target.
Believe it or not, the cost of running a unilingual website and a multilingual website are pretty much the same. You don’t have to create different websites for each language. Rather, a feature will be installed allowing the users to view the website in the language of their choice. This makes it cost-effective for you. Besides, as your target market broadens, you are likely to attract more customers as well. This will boost your revenues and ultimately your profits.
These are the main advantages you get by having a multilingual website. As you can see, there is no reason for you to not use this option.